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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2022 12:09 pm 

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It must have been visible, the way Hannah’s shoulder settled, a subtle relief at the notion that she wasn’t the only one of the two displaying vulnerability. Asking this of Malfoy felt awkward, aware of the fact that she was overstepping the immediate bounds of their relationship, although she knew for a fact there was no practice more common in the DMLE than that of a friday pint.
“Good,” she replied, the word a little breathless.
Uncrossing her arms, another bit of her guard was let down, instead reaching for the lip of her table.
“I don’t know if you’re coming in tomorrow - the DMLE is partial to the Tipsy Tadpole by the East exit,” she mused, her voice stiffening back up as the topic became more tangible, practical. Her gaze, however, remained almost girlish in how out of her depth she felt. “But if you are, we can go there together.”


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2022 3:28 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Draco was glad that it was just the two of them, even if he knew that Connor would have never asked him if there had been witnesses, because to outsiders it probably looked terribly awkward.
It was, of course, in its own way, but Draco realised that this probably didn’t come naturally to Connor either, even if she had spent years around Gryffindors due to her many years as a ministry hire. It eased his mind a little, knowing that he was likely still much worse off, but it still meant a lot to him that Connor wanted to spend time enough that she wanted to put herself through something like this.
“That sounds lovely,” he stated, the faintest flicker of a smile playing at the edge of his lips, feeling slightly humoured by the situation, though he understood why Connor would find it tense.
“Buchannan prefers to have me on site, so I will be in.”

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2022 9:56 am 

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Hannah nodded at that, finding that to be the better option, anyway. Allowing this to be an extension of work took the pressure off, and less vulnerable than pursuing a true friendship with Malfoy. At that given moment, Hannah wasn’t even sure she was interested in that, having only come to notice that the workdays felt less like a fight when somebody else was there to share the adversity.
“Good,” she said, the word a punctuation.
Having long ago finished packing up her kit, Hannah had her bag on her shoulder with a single swift motion, happy to leave the stifled air of the tent. “Then I’ll see you tomorrow, Malfoy.”


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2022 1:51 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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While the entire interaction had been stifled and awkward, Draco still found that he was looking forward to actually spend time with Connor. It had been a long time since he had actually been social with someone new, knowing better than to seek out the muggle village after the ministry had started asking questions.
This was exciting though, getting to interact with someone who seemed to be more like himself than anyone he had met in a long time.
“Draco,” he stated, knowing that Connor had to know his first name, but he also understood if it didn’t come natural to her to use it. After all, it was ministry standards to go by last names.
“Please call me Draco,” he elaborated, unsure if their relation really called for that, but it felt natural to him.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2022 2:06 pm 

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The ask took Hannah enough aback that she stalled in place, having mistakenly judged the conversation to be over, certain that Malfoy must have been equally eager to untangle themselves from this mess of a conversation.
Upon looking over at Malfoy, Hannah, above anything else, felt a sense of sympathy. Hannah had known that to be Malfoy’s given name since school but for the years after the war, his family name had become a household name for all the worst reasons. It wouldn’t surprise her if he preferred one over the other whenever their interactions weren’t dictated by their work.
“I’m Hannah,” she answered, accepting the olive branch Draco had offered her with a clumsy attempt at a smile.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2022 3:10 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Even upon returning to the manor, Draco found himself in a great mood.
He realised what he invitation from Connor, Hannah, had likely taken out of her and he was delighted the actually get to be part of a team like that.
When he landed in his kitchen, a soft smile still played on his lips, and it stayed there as he went into the drawing room in his search for Harry. Coote had told him that Harry had decided to move from the bedroom, something that he was entirely entitled to do, and Draco was curious as to where he would have decided to settle for the day.
When he reached the drawing room he immediately spotted Harry, a sight that made his heart flip in his chest.
Harry was bundled up on the couch, a book in his hands and wrapped tight in a blanket. A cup of tea stood almost empty on the table in front of him and it was clear that this was how much he had moved today.
“Change of scenery?”

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2022 1:10 pm 

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Draco’s presence only became known as he spoke, making a smile bloom across Harry’s lips before he even looked up from the book perched on his lap.
For how many books that had filtered through Harry’s hands these past months, this was the first to properly catch his attention, the day sufficiently long and alone some to act as sufficient motivator. Granted, it might also have been fueled by the fact that he had picked it from the bookshelf in Draco’s bedroom, its spine catching Harry’s attention from his spot in the bed.
“Starting to go a little stir crazy, Healer,” he complained, the smile bringing too much affection to his voice for it to sound genuine.
By the time Harry turned to place Draco in the room, Draco was within reach, towering tall above him in a way that inevitably made his stomach flip, utterly and pitifully lost to him.
It left Harry’s smile toothy and crooked, wide as he searched for words. Draco had had a good day, Harry could see it in his expression, and suddenly, Harry felt like he was looking into the sun. “Hi, babe.”


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2022 5:53 am 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Even if pet names weren’t exactly a new thing from Harry, it still managed to catch Draco off guard every single time, finding them sufficiently rare to send a shiver down his spine.
Feeling good about himself and how his day had progressed, Draco didn’t hesitate in sitting down next to Harry, a practiced ease in the motion that gave the nature of their relationship away. Draco was so comfortable around Harry that it felt like such a natural extension of his good day that he should get to come home to him like this.
“You do know that you are not in isolation, right?” He said with a warm smile, glad that Harry had decided to stay at the manor, even when Draco wasn’t around, but he desperately wanted it to be because Harry wanted to be there, rather than because he felt like he had to.
“You are free to go wherever you please, except for back to work.”

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2022 8:28 am 

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Harry was quick to welcome Draco’s presence, happy to unfurl himself from underneath the blanket. Sinking further into the armrest, Harry stretched his legs across Draco’s thighs, his proximity a more efficient source of warmth than anything else Coote had been able to offer.
“The mood back at mine is sure to be much less sympathetic,” Harry mused, a grin reluctantly upturning the corners of his mouth.
Both Kreacher and the house itself was a far more hostile environment to lay ill in, and frankly, Harry didn’t even consider he could spend his days in a third place, not even when Draco stressed that he was free to leave. All in all, his complaint had been less aimed towards the Manor, as it was spending his days apart from Draco, a fact that would remain unchanged until Harry was allowed back to work.
“How is work?” he asked, his smile widening, helplessly. The question was an inch short of being rhetorical, able to feel the good mood radiating from Draco even at this distance, and Harry wanted nothing more than to prompt it to surface further.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2022 4:25 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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It was only after Draco had mindlessly placed his hands on top of Harry’s legs, fingers of his one hand curling around his calf, that it really struck him just how intertwined their lives had become. It was something he had realised several times in the past, but it still seemed like a surprise to him every time, mostly the follow up realisation of just how much he enjoyed that easy intimacy they shared.
“Work is good,” he said, unable to keep a wide smile off his face.
Not only had forensics released some items for Draco to actually work on, there was also the invitation to go out for pints after work the next day, which was honestly more thrilling to Draco.
“Connor asked me to join her for a pint after work tomorrow,” he said, trying to keep his tone casual, but he doubted that he was actually fooling anyone, least of all Harry.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2022 2:40 am 

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Draco hadn’t greeted Harry with a kiss upon returning, but Harry hardly had a chance to miss it the moment Draco reached out for him. The leisurely hold of his calf made Harry’s heart jump just the same, the caress full of an unspoken affection that ran deeper than any kiss could. All wrapped into one, it was a welcome, an allowance to lay as he did, and an encouragement to stay.
Draco went on, barely seeming to have paid it any mind, and still Harry was left feeling a little dizzy, a casualty to the force of Draco’s good mood. He wanted Draco to keep smiling like that forever, to stretch this moment till eternity.
“You’re going to the Tipsy?” Harry cooed, a toothy smile from pulling at his lips with a delay as he processed the reply, endlessly thrilled on Draco’s behalf.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2022 3:03 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Even if it was probably a relatively minor thing to be as thrilled about as Draco was, he greatly appreciated the fact that Harry seemed to share his thrill. He was just so pleased that he seemed to be able to live a more normal life than he had ever thought that he would be able to; than he ever thought that he would deserve.
“Yeah, we are,” he said with a happy grin, his fingers on Harry’s calves started to move in a pattern, still mostly pleased to have him close. No matter how happy he was that Hannah had gone out of her way to ask him for a pint, he knew that most of his sense of normalcy came from having had the privilege of having Harry around as much as he had.
“Just nice to feel like part of the team, you know?” He admitted, feeling a little vulnerable in sharing that with Harry, but he also knew that he would never be able to share that with anyone else.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2022 2:29 am 

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A favourite of the department for decades, the Tipsy Tadpole was tattered and worn, but in the same way that fit just right, like dragonhide perfectly moulded through continuous use. Harry’s eyes skimmed over Draco’s features, trying to place him in that shithole so tailored to the DMLE, and the thought alone made Harry grin, wide and boyish. Despite the months they had spent together, Harry had only barely spent time with Draco in public, that the mere thought of sharing a pint with him made Harry’s stomach coil up with want, so pitifully attracted to Draco.
The motion of Draco’s hand against his leg did nothing to discourage a thrill from running down Harry’s spine.
“It’s a rite of passage for any new recruit,” Harry concurred with a hazy grin, and though the words could perhaps be perceived as minimising, they were intended as anything but. Harry spoke as an encouragement, a testament to how seamlessly the DMLE had allowed space for Draco. At the end of the day, Draco was just one in hundreds and it was absolutely brilliant.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 12:55 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Harry’s comment made Draco’s smile widen, leaving him effectively beaming, knowing that Harry understood just how important that was to him. Even though he was technically still only on a consultant contract, he really hoped that he would be able to secure a more permanent position and this just seemed like a step in the right direction for him.
“I’m glad,” he said, just looking at Harry and feeling struck by just how soft he looked, clearly having been in bed all day and showing no real signs of being able to leave any time soon.
“I want to do good,” he said, knowing that Harry knew this about him, but he still felt like saying it out loud, wanting to fully cement why this was so important to him, both to Harry but mostly to himself.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 2:57 pm 

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In that moment, Harry felt his heart swell to the point it felt like it was bursting, constantly taken aback by the love he felt for Draco. It felt like free falling, feeling so utterly powerless when Draco beamed at him like that. While Harry fought tooth and nail to remain in control in any other situation, his stomach flipped with an unmistakable excitement knowing this was beyond him, wholly and completely in the palm of Draco’s hand. What Harry felt, he realised, was relief, and it was impossible not to lean into it without apprehension.
“Buy the first round and you’re golden,” he grinned, the advice almost mundane if nothing else to stop himself from voicing the pride he felt for Draco, an endless tirade of praise and affection always at the tip of his tongue, threatening to spill out of him.
Itching to find an alternative outlet for the adoration filling his chest, Harry finally reached out for Draco, catching him by the elbow, inviting him closer. “Come here, Cursebreaker.”


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 3:28 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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It took very little prompting from Harry for Draco to move, grin still wide on his face as he gingerly moved Harry’s legs away from his thigh. At first, he moved slightly further away from Harry, perhaps counterintuitively, but only far enough to make himself comfortable between Harry’s legs, not wanting anything to come in the way.
As he was finally face to face with Harry, still feeling that it was something so special, even if it was such a normal part of his life by now.
“Whatever you say, Auror Potter,” Draco grinned, feeling so light and giddy that even their titles seemed funny to him. He was elated and he desperately wanted to be able to share his mood with Harry, wanting that smile to remain on his lips as well.
It was so easy to lean the rest of the way in and kiss him, hands resting on the couch on either side of him, feeling that everything was so easy for once in his life.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2022 8:05 am 

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Though it had been Harry himself who had egged Draco closer, the reality of the shift left Harry in a daze, entirely unprepared for the force of nature that was Draco.
Despite the almost authoritative reverence audible in Draco’s reply, following the bid of a superior, Harry felt anything but. Easily parting his knees for Draco, the sight of him towering above him made Harry feel like putty, stomach tight with anticipation; when Draco leaned forward, Harry felt like he was falling through the sofa.
Reaching for Draco as a point of stability, Harry caught him by his elbows, trailing the length of his upper arms to settle around his neck, meeting the kiss with such a sense of relief that he could sob, feeling a fool for believing a hand on his knee could have ever be as gratifying as this.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2022 12:40 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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To most, the prospect of Friday night pints were probably neither particularly exciting nor nerve wracking, but to Draco it had definitely been both. While he had been certain that Hannah had only invited him because she genuinely wanted him to be there, it had still felt like he was intruding on something that wasn’t for him.
So when he appeared in the manor kitchen, having apparated from the Tipsy Tadpole, he was tired but relieved and, more than anything else, extremely pleased with how the evening had turned out.
The fact that he and Hannah were both Slytherins had helped them out a lot, neither of them feeling like they had to alter themselves to fit into the environment that was so marred by Gryffindors as the ministry was.
It was with a spring in his step and a smile on his face, both from the good time he had had but also from the pints, that Draco went to his bedroom, unsure if Harry was still going to be there, and if he was, if he was going to be awake, but he so wanted to see him right in that moment. He was probably less than careful when he pushed the door open, pleased to see the shape bundled up underneath his bedsheets.
“You awake?”

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2022 2:39 pm 

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Harry hadn’t been and yet he was, the moment Draco’s voice carried through the room. It had taken Harry some time to settle in at all, finding the Manor too large and discomforting without Draco to balance it. As darkness had started to fall, Harry had been quick to retreat back to Draco’s room, finding that the shadows left too much to the imagination.
Barely seeming to register that he had tipped back into consciousness, he turned, first to look over his shoulder and then entirely onto his back. Seeing Draco backlit against the hallway lighting brought a hazy smile to his lips.
“Sure,” he croaked, a sheepish chuckle mixing into his sleep-muddled voice.
Lazily reaching across the mattress towards Draco, Harry invited him closer. “How was it?”


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2022 3:10 pm 

This body is a vessel for my mayhem and as long as I can perform bafoonery it doesn’t matter if this stomach is flat or not

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Without much elegance, Draco shrugged off his coat and kicked off his shoes, keen to join Harry in bed; both because the exhaustion was setting in and also because he had missed him while he was out. It wasn’t that he hadn’t enjoyed being out and getting to interact with new people, he just found that he wanted Harry to be part of every aspect of his life, having looked forward to sharing his evening with Harry even as it had been happening.
“It was great,” he stated, grin still wide as he flopped down on the bed next to Harry, still fully dressed, but figuring that he could deal with that later, for now he just wanted to be close to Harry and talk about his day.
“I had a really great time,” he stated with a grin, moving in close to Harry immediately and wrapping an arm around his waist, knowing that it was probably pitiful how quickly he sought out his presence, but it was so terribly difficult to care.
“I did buy the first round and you were right that was a good opener.”

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